Report: AC Milan (8) 1-1 (9) Manchester United – #MUTour2018


Manchester United won 9-8 on penalties after drawing 1-1 with AC Milan in the opening game of the International Champions Cup in Carson, California. Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a sublime finish, however, Suso equalised two minutes later.

Jose Mourinho made seven changes with Lee Grant starting in goal again with Matteo Darmian replacing the injured Antonio Valencia, who had headed back to Manchester for treatment on his calf injury. Axel Tuanzebe starts his first game this summer with Scott McTominay replacing James Garner in the team. Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata lead the line after Anthony Martial left the USA to be with his pregnant girlfriend.

United started the match in good stead, getting a credible opportunity on goal after winning a free-kick in the first minute. Mata’s delivery asked questions of the Milan defence, coming to nothing though. McTominay inside the third minute, had a chance on goal but Gianluigi Donnarumma made the save, denying the Academy graduate from scoring the opening goal of the game.

In the fifth minute of the match, Frank Kessie had a shot on goal, hitting the side netting. United started to take control of the game, pressing the Milan defence and seeking to gain something in the early stages. In the seventh minute, Sanchez was fouled around 30-yards out, winning a free-kick for United. The Chilean took the free-kick, aiming for goal with Donnarumma parrying out for a corner.

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United took the lead in the 12th minute of the game after Mata sent a through ball into Sanchez, who was clean through Milan’s defence, beating Donnarumma firing into the far corner of the net. United did not score in the last match, scoring once in the first game. This will be a welcome goal by the Chilean. The lead didn’t last long with Suso equalising in the 15th minute of the match, assisted by Leonardo Bonucci.

United looked to get ahead in the game again with Sanchez looking to start something, playing the ball to the left and waiting in the box to get a cross in. Sadly, nothing came of this attack for United but Mourinho’s side were still on top in this period of the game, pressuring the Milan defence and winning another corner in the 22nd minute after some free-flowing play. Sanchez went for goal from the corner, just off target.

United had a great chance in the 27th minute with Sanchez on the break, Mata in the box and the Chilean passing the ball with Herrera having a shot on goal, which was deflected out with United winning a corner. United were still dominating, seemingly catching Donnarumma off his line, the Italian saving his blushes but giving United another corner with McTominay heading towards goal, Donnarumma catching it.

Milan won a corner and pressured United for a period, aiming to take the lead themselves. The shot on goal was caught by Grant as United looked to pressure the Italian side once again. There was a water break in the game in the 31st minute with Mourinho talking to his players, seemingly making suggestions ahead of the remainder of the half.

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United were playing some good football, stringing some good passes together and creating some good chances. In the 40th minute, Mata had the chance to shoot but was somehow dispossessed with Milan getting some time to threaten themselves. United were showing signs of danger, mostly through Sanchez, who looks to be starting to hit some form, despite this being a pre-season match.

United created another chance late in the first half with Darmian on the ball but his cross being hit too hard and missing any chance of connecting with a teammate. Three minutes were added on at the end of the first half. Milan were looking to take charge of the game, trying to pressure United, winning a free-kick which was well over the crossbar instead of causing problems for Grant.

It was an entertaining half of football with United adding more creativity to their game and Sanchez seemingly looking like a player not far from hitting scintillating form, which will be good for United ahead of the new season. Kessie had a late chance for Milan, which was blocked, resulting in a corner for Milan, which did not happen because the referee ended the half, ending 1-1.

At the start if the second half, Mourinho made one change with Joel Pereira replacing Grant. United should have taken the lead through Sanchez in the 47th minute of the match after the Chilean rushed into the box but did not connect with the ball enough to find the back of the net. McTominay had another opportunity to find a goal, unable to do so in the early stages of the second half.

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In the 55th minute of the match, after a lapse of concentration by United, Milan were able to break through and attempt to find the goal that would put them ahead in the game. It never happened after the defence thwarted the attack, adding pressure in the final seconds. United immediately got back on the attack themselves, seeking to find a winner themselves. Bailly dropped down injured but was able to continue.

Shaw had an opportunity to create something in the 62nd minute of the match, going for goal and winning a corner. Shaw then had another shot on goal but Pepe Reina, who had just replaced Donnarumma, made a great save. The offside flag was raised though as Sanchez was interfering with play, from an offside position so a goal, if one was scored, would not have counted anyway.

Milan had another chance to take something from the game in the 66th minute of the match but the shot on goal was well over the crossbar and still rising into the stands. Suso was lively for the Italian side, pressuring United’s defence in the box, winning a corner, which was cleared by United, ending up a goal kick for Pereira. Milan were straight back on the prowl for a second goal though.

United had a great chance with an over the top ball his to Sanchez, who was rushing into Milan’s box, the defence cut his angle down so he could not immediately shoot. Mata arrived into the box and Sanchez passed the ball to him but the Spaniard’s shot was met by Reina, thwarting another good chance from United. Sanchez is having a great game. Perhaps he was judged, by some, too soon!

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Kessie had a chance in the 79th minute but it came to nothing. Sanchez then launched a blistering run into Milan’s half, passing the ball to keep the attack alive but Milan then dispossessing the launching an attack themselves, which came to nothing. Milan won a free-kick from a good position but Pereira caught the ball to thwart the chance.

In the 74th minute, Mourinho made a change with Tim Fosu-Mensah replacing Shaw with the manager signalling Darmian to move over to the left-back position with Fosu-Mensah playing as the right-back. The Dutchman immediately got involved in the game, dispossessing Milan in the box to keep United in charge of the game with just under 15 minutes to play. The referee called for another water break in the 77th minute of the match.

In the 80th minute, Herrera had a shot on goal after some good interplay from United with Sanchez, Herrera, Pereira and Mata all involved. With ten minutes remaining, the match was likely to go to penalties as a winner would need to be found. United seemed determined to find a winner with Sanchez the standout player from the match so far.

Milan nearly scored the winner in the 85th minute but they hit the post after beating Pereira, saving United’s blushes. Milan were dealing with the advantage at this stage of the game, pressuring United on the edge of their area, seeking a way to win the game. Milan won a free-kick, which seemed like Darmian was fouled, the referee giving it the other way.

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The free-kick was launched into the box, Pereira rose to catch the ball, did not get a grip of it, recovering and sending United forward. In the 88th minute of the match, Ethan Hamilton made his debut, replacing Mata. Milan had a chance in the last minute of the match but Bailly cut out the pass inside the box, thwarting another opportunity to score.

Three minutes of stoppage time was played at the end of the second half. Here was booked in stoppage time for a challenge, the first booking of the match. The match ended 1-1 with penalties deciding the result. Pereira took the first penalty, beating Reina. 1-0 United. Calhanoglu scored Milan’s first penalty. Herrera took United’s second, beating Reina. 2-1 United. Borini took Milan’s second, saved by Pereira. Still 2-1 to United.

Sanchez took United’s third penalty, beating Reina. United lead 3-1 now. Kessie took Milan’s third, scoring. 3-2 to United now. McTominay took United’s fourth, which was saved by Reina. Still 3-2 to United. Suso took Milan’s fourth, Pereira making the save. Still 3-2 to United. Joel Pereira took the final penalty, replacing Smalling on Mourinho’s orders, saved by Reina. Still 3-2 to United. Reina took Milan’s fifth, now 3-3.

Sudden death now. Bailly took United’s sixth, saved by Reina. Advantage Milan now with the chance to win the match. Romagnoli took Milan’s sixth, hitting the post. United were still alive. Smalling took United’s seventh, beating Reina. 4-3 United. Milan have to score now. Calabria took Milan’s seventh, just beating Pereira. Now 4-4.

Tuanzebe took United’s eighth, beating Reina. 5-4 to United. Kalinic with Milan’s eighth, beating Pereira. Now 5-5. Fosu-Mensah with United’s ninth, beating Reina. 6-5 to United. Musacchio took Milan’s ninth, beating Pereira. Now 6-6. Hamilton took United’s tenth, saved by Reina. Mauri took Milan’s tenth, saved by Pereira. Darmian with United’s eleventh, beat Reina. 7-6 to United. Antonelli beat Pereira, now 7-7.

Pereira took his second penalty, beating Reina. 8-7 to United. Calhanoglu beat Pereira with a stunning penalty, taking it to 8-8. Herrera took his second, beating Reina. Now 9-8 to United. Kessie took his second, hitting his shot over the crossbar. United won 9-8 on penalties. The second match in the International Champions Cup will be against Liverpool in Michigan on Saturday evening, kick off 22:05 BST in the United Kingdom.

Goals: Alexis Sanchez 12′

Assists: Juan Mata 12′

Manchester United: Grant (J. Pereira 46′); Darmian, Bailly, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Shaw (Fosu-Mensah 74′); Herrera, McTominay, A. Pereira; Mata (Hamilton 88′), Sanchez

Substitutes Not Used: Mitchell, Williams; Garner, Gomes, Bohui, Chong, Greenwood

Bookings: Ander Herrera 90+1

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